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You’re not some fancy pants English Lord expressing his interest to some commoner lady named Elizabeth Bennet.There isn’t necessarily a “right” way to write a cover letter, but there is a “wrong” way. Different cover letters can be good for different reasons. Here is the opening paragraph of a cover letter I wrote once when applying for a job.
If you try to buck this trend and make your CV look too avant garde, you’ll stick out. Your CV is not the best place to be a revolutionary. Compare your CV to the CV of pretty much other pharmacy student applying for residency. You’ve got about 30 seconds to convince the RPD to keep reading. Remember - the person reviewing your application is wearing many hats. Typically, they’re practicing pharmacists and are looking at applications during their lunch break.
These people have the same level of training and the same qualifications as you. You were all chapter president of some student organization. The ONLY way that you can set yourself apart from every other residency applicant is with your cover letter. They’ll be in the middle of (yet another) plate of lukewarm hospital cafeteria chicken tenders and french fries while they go through your application.
The fact that they have to leave work early to take their kid to soccer practice.
Then they’ll read Look, you’re applying for the residency program. You don’t need to make a formal announcement to express your interest.
You can write your cover letter in pretty much any way you want. It’s not specifically for a residency, but it shows you how you can tie your unique experience and personality into what you’re applying for.
It also shows you that you’re going to be writing cover letters for the rest of your pharmacy career, so you might as well get used to it :)I’ll be honest, if you were to tell me 5 years ago when I was graduating pharmacy school that I would become an oncology specialist, I would have laughed at you.
I’ve now noticed it on the cover letters I’ve reviewed too. They spend the bulk of their application prep time tweaking their CV until it’s perfect.
Your CV has your unique experiences, and that’s important. There’s a sort of unwritten “law” that dictates the format of your CV. All of our CVs (whether we are students or practicing pharmacists with decades of experience) have the same general layout and feel.
Anyone with experience in the residency “game” can give you useful feedback in making your cover letter stand out. You MUST NOT work from the same template that everyone else is using. I know this is an overwhelming process, and templates can make a stressful task a little bit easier.
A prescription for a successful job search includes a standout resume that sets you apart from the crowd of competitors.